Until this week Nick Gillespie was an unheard-of editor and writer except to those formidable few who admired his perseverance and looked forward to his rumpled commentary on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch. Like Richard Farina in the rising folk scene of the early ’60s, aficionados knew him to be the original item and deeply admired him. But no one else did. This weekend the most mainstream of conservatives, George Will at The Washington Post, favorably reviewed his book, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong With America. Today he is cited in The Wall Street Journal’s “Notable & Quotable.” Nick Gillespie has arrived. And so has the Tea Party.
The debt-ceiling debate has brought a change in the zeitgeist … the spirit of the times. That which was marginal is suddenly accepted. More than that. It is now the avant garde of a new political generation.
Mainstream of the old garde has been holding back, but when The New York Times insanely accused Sarah Palin of complicity is the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the Weekly Standard’s William Kristol rushed out to defend. And as the varied left this week condemned the Tea Party as “terrorists,” Charles Krauthammer came on to Cavuto to defend. The old soldiers, Will, Krauthammer, and most important Mitt Romney, in his repudiation of the debt-ceiling deal, have joined the new movement. A balanced budget now, for the first time, is possible and probable. Bush-era profligate spenders like Virginia’s George Allen have signed on and now everyone else will. The times have arrived. The Tea Party has won.

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